Thousands of Co-op Utility Poles to be Checked for Safety


Thousands of Delaware Electric Cooperative Utility Poles to be Checked for Safety

For Immediate Release: April 23rd, 2012

GREENWOOD, Del.- The annual process of checking Delaware Electric Cooperative utility poles for problems is underway in Sussex County. Crews from Osmose, the Buffalo, New York based company responsible for the annual inspections, began checking poles for defects on April 23rd.

Osmose crews are examining poles in Sussex County between Ellendale and Milford. DEC members may see utility workers on their property during the inspections process and Osmose workers will be happy to answer any questions.

About ten percent of DEC’s utility poles, or approximately 7,000, are checked for rot and other problems every year. During a ten year cycle Osmose crews will check each of the 70,000 poles maintained by Delaware Electric Cooperative.

According to Ken Ellers, DEC’s Vice President of Operations and Engineering, “If the pole is in immediate danger of falling, Osmose workers will call us and we’ll fix it immediately.”

Crews check the poles for structural weaknesses by hammering on the wood and occasionally boring into poles to obtain wood samples, which sometimes reveals rot. Ellers said some utility poles may appear to be in need of replacement when they are actually structurally sound.

The process essentially serves as an annual check-up on the poles and electrical equipment and will end in mid-summer. Checking the poles and transformers for problems helps keep DEC’s electric system running efficiently and ensures the safety of the public.

“This increases our reliability and protects the public from possible dangers. This yearly check up is a benefit to members and the community,” said Ellers.